Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homemade a pickle jar.

Butter AND pickles? Ew. No, thanks. Even while I was pregnant, I never had any weird cravings. I did, however, crave spicy foods like crazy, which was not a problem until the 7th month when the heartburn kicked in. Extra spicy (virgin) bloody Mary's, actually, a drink I had NEVER really been a fan of. Go figure. I also ended up developing gestational diabetes as well, almost halfway through, so all those greasy, yummy, spicy foods were no longer an option for me anyway. *sigh*. I had a specific list of things I could eat and HAD to eat every few hours or my sugar could drop and that wouldn't have been good for either of us. I was working as a server in a restaurant at the time, so that made everything all the more difficult. Definitely an interesting first pregnancy!

Anyhoo, on to the butter! (And buttermilk!)
Most of my childhood, I remember hearing the term "churning butter". I remember learning about it in school. I remember my Mamaw talking of it. I had never actually done it, nor even really had the notion to...until a few weeks ago. I had even seen a friend's post on facebook about doing it and her excitement over it. Still, it wasn't a huge deal. I though, "Oh, cool. Maybe I'll try it one day". Well, that day finally came, so after reading blogs and browsing Pinterest, I decided to give it a try.
I got the instructions from, in which she used a small canning jar. I don't have any canning jars, so I used a recycled plastic tub from one of our Chinese take-out meals. It worked great! So...what about the pickle jar? I moved up to it on my next batch because I wanted to make more at once. The plastic tub was a tad too small.
Below is my take on it. Perfect science experiment for kids!! Oh, and be prepared to build up some arm muscles!! Ha! The whole process takes about 30 minutes or so.

fill jar 1/2 to 3/4 full. close lid tightly and make sure it doesn't leak!

 Start shaking away, as vigorously as you can! Your arms will get tired, so take breaks if you need to. My last batch sat on the dining room table for almost a half hour because, *gasp*, I got side-tracked. So it's all good if it takes a little while to keep shaking.

Visiting home...and completing sewing projects!

My son and I made the 7 hour trek up to Bristol last week to hang out with family and friends for a while. I am blessed beyond measure, in the fact that Lucas has always done REALLY well traveling. Plane or car, he has been a trooper. It really stinks being so far away from them and not having the ability to visit as often as I would like. We had a great visit with everyone and we also made it up to Papaw's cabin for a day visit, which Lucas LOVED. I'm upset my husband hasn't had the chance to go there yet, but he will eventually!!
myself and Lucas on the best. swing. ever.

Henry and his little buddy :)

If you don't know our story, I'll quickly re-cap. Brian and I married in August, 2010 (our anniversary is Wednesday!! :) ) on his two week R&R leave from deployment, after which, he had to go back to Iraq for a little over 3 months. Sad, yes? So, once he landed back overseas, I started preparations to find a home in Georgia to have ready when he returned. Lucas and I did quite a few 7 hour treks (one way, mind you) between TN and GA in the process. Thankfully, we found a place and with the help of my wonderful In-Laws and Brian's amazing college friends, we were able to get his stuff moved from New York, my things moved from Tennessee,  ALL down to Georgia just a few weeks before Brian was scheduled to be state-side. I was thrilled!
So...getting back to the point of trooper Lucas...he has seriously been a blessing during any sort of travel. He was under a year old when the previous was taking place, but now that he is almost 2, he tends to get bored much more quickly, so I was more than a little worried about how this trip would go.  Brian just happens to have a portable DVD player that SAVED the day! He still had a few crabby moments, but between the movie, food/juice and sleeping, we had a fantastic drive.
Watching Ratatouille!

Now, on to the sewing part! Lucas and I were in Walmart about a month ago and I got the big idea to make a pillow for him after he saw one of the Pillow Pet things and got excited. So we went back to fabric, I found Cars and Thomas the Train and let him pick out which one he wanted. Thomas the Train, it is. :)
Now, once I got home and actually realized how big a project this is without having a machine, it got put on the back-burner until the TN trip. My mom has the sewing machine that I unfortunately do not have. Yet. So, here we go! My mom also had a couple extra pillow cases that I had years ago, which had Velcro on one side in-seam and had the brilliant idea of switching them from one of those to the one I was making. Thanks Mom! :)

Adding the Velcro
 While I was at it, I took two 1/2 yards of fabric and made a couple heating/cooling bags. I used rice in one of mine, but you can use cherry pits, lentils, or buckwheat. I may try one of the others, because the rice is pretty heavy. I originally wanted to make ties to attach to each long end, that way we could tie it around our waste, chest, shoulders, where ever. My friend, Jheri, has one, made with cherry pits and has the ties and it was a LIFESAVER when I gave birth to my son and began breast feeding! I walked around the house with that thing tied on my chest for over a week! Before our next child comes along, I WILL have one with ties.

Sewing up my husbands hot/cold pack.

All 3 completed projects.

I seriously feel very domesticated and awesome. I will feel even MORE awesome once I have my own machine and can sew to my little hearts content! I do have a few other projects to share with you, but I will save that for tomorrow.


Sunday, August 14, 2011


So, it has been a rough week for me. Been a little under the weather, so I haven't done a lot of crafts, cooking, or much of anything really! I have managed to keep up with the laundry and house work though. Shew! That's a plus. So, bare with me as I do some catching up in this one post. Which happens to be relevant to Hands :)

Hands are an important part of our lives. I take care of my home, myself and my family with them. They brush tears off of my little man's cheeks. They rub his back and neck as he is falling asleep. They cook. They clean. They create. They love! So, what better way to show the importance of those hands, than by framing them...or traces of them, anyway :)

Lucas, Daddy, Mommy <3

I'm on my 5th attempt to trace Lucas' hand, as my husband comes over to help hold his little hand down (which is why his little pinkie looks like it's a little off! lol) and I inform him that I'm going to need his hand print as well. He looked at me like I was kind of crazy, asked his ever pressing question, 'why?', then quickly got to it after I told him that I 'just need it!'. His next response was, 'but my fingers are all crooked and stuff.'. It's okay, that's what makes them YOUR hands! Anyway, I finally get all of them cut out, twice, since I first did them all on plain white paper. My right hand was not liking me!! Hubs had picked up a $4 gold frame at Wal-mart that he spray painted black, some light blue construction paper for a background, and voila!! My favorite piece of art in our home thus far. :) I so look forward to the days when Lucas starts drawing pictures for us to display. Pinterest has shown me some great ideas for that as well!

Memories are stitched with love.

Hawkeye: Margaret, wasn’t this potholder supposed to be a scarf?
Margaret: It hasn’t been a scarf in weeks. I’m knitting a sweater for a pilot I met in Tokyo.
- M*A*S*H (TV) (1980)

I have decided to learn to knit. My husband's remark to this? 'What are you, 60?'. Ha! Love him and all his smart ass remarks. Sometimes. Kidding.
Been a little over a week now and I have quite a mess of a "scarf" going on.

The second attempt with a different, more fuzzy yarn.

 I originally wanted to try the Continental version, in which the yarn is held in the left hand, rather than the right as with English knitting. English being the most popular in the U.S. and yes, England. Me, being the ever impatient person that I am, quickly became frustrated and had to take a break. Then, I decided to try the English version and what do ya know?! MUCH easier to pick up on. The most difficult thing I have found so far, is holding the yarn and manipulating the needles to be comfortable to my hands (and right arm!). The online videos I have watched show these ladies effortlessly and gracefully holding and wrapping the yard so quickly, I could barely keep up. Practice makes perfect, right? Clearly. So, I feel I have finally gotten somewhat decent at this whole knitting thing, and I want to do a cap or cowl next. Off to look for patterns I go. WOW! Who knew there would be so many in's and outs, different stitches, different sized needles, different rolls and skeins of yarn, different materials of yarn and holy crap at the abbreviations!! Dang. I am feeling NOT so decent at it now. I am definitely a hands-on learner, but there are A LOT of different things I need to learn first before trying to tackle anything more than a simple scarf.

There is definitely a hold towards the bottom that shouldn't be there. Whoops :)

I will tell you, it IS relaxing. I can sit back and get lost for a bit turning a string into a loop and then into a square. I finally found a free printable at (PDF version is 60 pages long!) that I will be printing later today and reading. I can't say how excited I am to get good at this, though! I love the slouchy hats, scarves and cowls and look forward to creating them from a single string :)

I think that is all for now. Time to go to bed and snuggle with my husband. :)


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bringing my creativity back!

.Since being introduced to Pinterest, I have done nothing but drool and long to be able to do most of the DIY projects and crafts I've seen on there. So many amazing ideas out there! Unfortunately, I am NOT naturally creative. I can't just think of cute craft and/or decorative ideas. I can however, get inspiration from others and try certain projects my own way. Anything worth doing takes time and effort and it has been SO unbelievably nice to bury myself in completing these little projects. I would love nothing more than to continue getting better and being able to decorate for friends, sell items and what-have-you. So, I loaded up kiddo and headed to Wal-mart. The closest craft store is well around 45 minutes away, other-wise, I would have been there!!

I started out small, only spending about $30 for everything. Not sure what I was getting myself into, so I didn't want to go too crazy! I purchased the candle holders, twine, raffia (LOVE this stuff), felt, and a hot glue gun. I thought I was finished, but as we were walking to check-out, kiddo spotted a Cars Pillow-Pet thing and went nuts. $17 for a tiny pillow?? No. So off we go back to the crafts department! Add in a yard of Thomas the Train fabric (which, he picked out himself!) and a small sewing kit. (I have started the pillow and didn't realize what I was getting myself into. That's a job for a machine, which I do not own!)

  I'll start with the candles. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. How simple!! I originally got the idea from They have TONS of DIY ideas for low-cost, beautiful decorations. My kinda deal.

Raffia makes everything better!
Next, we have the wreath. THIS was what I was totally excited for. Again, Pinterest is wonderful. I saw something similar, with cute little felt flowers and HAD to try it. We (had) tons of vines in the back yard, until my husband broke bad on them a few months ago. There were still enough hanging around that I could reach over the fence, so I pulled away. Asked mom for some advice, watched a few youtube videos and voila! Homemade wreath! Of course, I had a little helper :)

I then found some tutorials on how to make those neat little felt flowers, which are also amazingly simple and easy.

Aaaaand...the finished project!

This has been one of the most trying weeks, personally. But doing these amazing projects has really allowed me to open up and want to DO something. Don't get me wrong, I love my son and my husband, but I miss having ME. In becoming a mother, I lost myself somewhere along the way. My entire world was (and still is!) wrapped up in one tiny human being and going through the emotions and changes, Took. Me. Over. Then, becoming an Army wife in the middle of all that and moving out of state, away from family and friends has been even more difficult. Losing a friendship after my son's birth was probably the worst. But, people move in different directions sometimes, right?
I am learning how to be myself again, a little every day. I am thankful to have a great husband who, no matter how much we annoy each other, still tries his best to support me in every way. I love he and Lucas both more than my life <3
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Kiser, too by Maria Kiser is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.